Growing Up with the River: Nine Generations on the Missouri

$19.95

In Growing Up with the River, you will meet children from nine generations who grew up along the Missouri River from Hermann to St. Charles. You will share in a long list of adventures and observe the changes they see in the river valley including visits from Lewis and Clark and a presidential candidate, the departure of Native Americans, the arrival of German immigrants, steamboats, trains and a TNT factory, and the creation of the Katy Trail and Missouri’s largest conservation area.   But the children aren’t the only characters in this story.

A bur oak tree grows from an acorn to a majestic symbol of this history as it bears witness to many changes in the natural world – the extinction of the beautiful Carolina parakeet that roosted on its branches, the building of levees to control the flooding that covered its roots, the over-hunting and return of wildlife that rest in its shade, and the loss of native plants in the surrounding countryside.

What hasn’t changed in two centuries is the natural scenic beauty of Missouri River Country and the small river communities.

You, your friends and families can follow the map and stories in this book and plan your own visit to these rural landscapes beginning at the Gateway Arch. The Arch, one of the most recognized symbols in the world, was created to be a lasting symbol to the Missouri River and what took place there.

Our cover illustrates the march of history in the Missouri River valley since 1806.

Ten original paintings were commissioned from Missouri landscape painter Bryan Haynes to tell the story of Missouri River history since Lewis and Clark.

  • Written by Dan & Connie Burkhardt
  • Introduction by Frances Levine, President, Missouri History Museum
  • Epilogue by Jon Landau, Producer of Avatar and Titanic

100% of the proceeds go to The Katy Land Trust to preserve the farms and forests along the Katy Trail.


Category:

Book Reviews & Media

Growing up with the River will enthrall the attention of audiences young and old!

The book is full of fictional tales that communicate real heart with a series of stories connecting your heart to the land on which so many have lived and loved. While the book’s relatable content does not have a typical approach – as it carries you through time while hopping from one perspective to the next – however, it does the job right! And others agree!

Check out these delightfully descriptive book review articles, as well as the following collection of reader comments raving about our book!

The Burkhardts know that Jay and I love the Missouri River. The Governor’s mansion overlooks the Big Muddy, we canoe and kayak on the river, and we explore all along the Katy Trail and the river valley. We ride our bikes to visit the giant bur oak near the Katy Trail in McBaine, so Dan and Connie sent us a copy of Growing Up with the River. It is a treasure! The stories make the history so alive and accessible. I know that the book will inspire the children of Missouri and their families to get outside and experience more of our beautiful state!

~ Georganne Nixon, First Lady, State of Missouri

Each night for the last couple of weeks, my seven-year-old son and I have read a chapter of “Growing Up on the River.” What makes that half-hour before bed each night such a treat for both of us is not just that this is an uncommonly beautiful book, or that the message is urgently important. Or that my son and I love our farm near Augusta, and, moreover, that we love learning as much as we can about the history of the area. Or that “Growing Up” somehow manages to engage a 44-year-old man as much as a second-grader. What makes that half an hour a day special is also that “Growing Up” happens to be a really, really good book. It simply tells a great story, and tells it well, managing somehow to compress two-hundred-plus years of history and ten generations into 120 pages. The conceit—telling each generation’s story through the eyes of a child—is as wonderful as it is useful. Without the next generation’s care, there simply won’t be a Missouri River Valley as we know and love it.

~ Nick Reding, St. Louis, Conservationist and author of the 2009 New York Times best-seller “Methland”

My jaw dropped when I opened “Growing Up with the River” and saw the fantastic collection of paintings, photographs, maps and illustrations. I’m a visual person who has spent many days and nights working and playing on the Missouri River so I have a particular perspective and the book’s lay-out just exploded with joy, color and excitement. I was overjoyed to see such a true reflection of the river’s treasures—natural, cultural, historical and experiential.


In particular, the paintings by Bryan Haynes are outstanding—first as individual works of art and second as a stream of images that connect all the places and time periods contained in the wonderful story line.

 

 

Let me point to just two painting that caught me. The first is printed at the start of Chapter 2 and shows a big flock of Carolina parakeets flying over three canoes laden with furs in the early 1800s. The colorful image reminds us of our loss of the natural richness of the Missouri River through the extinction of species. But, in contrast, the painting at the start of Chapter 9 shows the recent abundance of American white pelicans that demonstrates how improved conservation can boost the health and productivity of the natural world.

The book also becomes an invitation to explore with a list printed of plants and animals to find within its pages—this list is printed prior to Chapter 1. The book finishes with a map of 30 places in the lower Missouri River valley to visit, including brief narratives and a look westward toward a huge oak and a fabulous steamboat museum.

~ Jeff Barrow, Director of Missouri River Relief in Columbia, MO

“Growing Up with the River” is a delightful book that all parents or grandparents should read with the children in their life. The story of successive generations growing up along the Missouri River is a fascinating tale, with a skillfully woven storyline that relates the impact of Missouri’s growth and development on its rich natural resources from 1806 to present day. Beautiful illustrations by Bryan Haynes add to the enjoyment of reading, enriching the story with colorful detail. Historical photographs and interesting side bars complement the stories of each generation, while a “Scout for these Plants and Animals” section and a rich glossary make further discussion and research fun for all ages.

It has been a pleasure to work with Dan and Connie Burkhardt as they developed the story line and incorporated the story of German immigration to the state in the 19th century. A book for children, sharing this rich history along the Missouri River, has been long overdue. The combination of history with the study of natural resources impacted by that history adds a further dimension to the telling, filling that need and more. Reading “Growing Up with the River” is a pleasure!

~ Cynthia Browne from the Deutschheim State Historic Site

I like to make movies that both entertain and inspire, and that’s the feeling I get from this book. We should share these stories with our children and open their eyes to the natural wonders of the world. Maybe it will inspire some of them to be a part of protecting these resources for future generations.

~ Jon Landau, Producer, Avatar and Titanic

My introduction to the incredible beauty of the Missouri River valley was as a student at the University of Missouri where I met landscape painter Frank Stack. I bought one of his paintings of the river and that began my years painting in this majestic valley. I credit this introduction with my life-long appreciation of our namesake river.

Philip Slein, Artist

I’ve paddled thousands of miles on the Missouri River from its Montana origins to St. Louis. The river towns in this book are more historic, the bluffs are higher, and the white pelicans and farm fields are bigger from a canoe on the Big Muddy than they sound in these pages. Get out on the river with us and experience it for yourself.

Mike “Big Muddy” Clark, Big Muddy Adventures

Published Articles & Reviews

Rivertowns: 100 Miles, 200 Years, Countless Stories

Special Edition book coverFor the past two years we have been working with Channel 9 to tell the stories in Growing Up with the River: Nine Generations on the Missouri in a one-hour documentary.

Following the history of the Missouri River Valley from the voyage of Lewis and Clark to today, Rivertowns by Channel 9 is a new film about the history of our river and our region that has been 200 years in the making.

Rivertowns premiered September 2018 on Nine PBS. This Nine Network special taps into the social, natural and cultural changes in Missouri River communities over more than two centuries. Inspired by the book, Growing Up with the River: Nine Generations on the Missouri, the film visits historical sites, the people and the beauty of the Missouri River Valley.

 

Learn more about the landscape and stories along the last 100 miles of the Missouri River.
Watch Rivertowns online now!

Rivertowns

 

 

Presentation and Book Signing at the St. Louis County Library

Presentation and Book Signing for “Growing Up with the River” at the St. Louis County Library 10/19/16

On October 19, a stormy night didn’t deter 70+ friends of St. Louis County Library from participating in a presentation and book signing by Dan, Connie, and Bryan.

Bonus:  A raffle for a bur oak tree — one of the main characters in “Growing Up with the River” — made the winner very happy (thanks to a generous donation from Forest ReLeaf)!

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch Book Review

A review that specifies just what
all the fuss is about!

If you have found yourself wondering about our book Growing up with the River, here is your chance to find out more!

Growing up with the River will enthrall the attention of audiences young and old! How? Well, the book is full of fictional tales that communicate real heart. While the book’s relatable content does not have a typical approach, however, it does the job right – as this particular review by Jody Mitori for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch touches upon:

“The Burkhardts’ book should encourage readers to explore the Missouri River valley and help usher in the next generation of conservationists.”

With its air of mystery, this book will carry you through time while hopping from one perspective to the next.

Click here to read more in this fantastic review of Growing Up with the River! And don’t forget to order your copy today or stop in at these locations to pick up a copy!

 

Book Cover 6-15-16

“Growing Up with the River” Available at These Retail Locations

 

You can purchase the book “Growing Up with the River: Nine Generations on the Missouri” online HERE or at the following retail locations:

100% of the proceeds go to The Katy Land Trust. 


Library Locations
You can also check out the book at the following libraries:


About “Growing Up with the River: Nine Generations on the Missouri”

Stories of conservation & history along the Missouri River

For a small area, the Missouri River Valley west of St. Louis has played an outsized role in the country’s history. The last 100 miles of the longest river in America capture many stories of both the growth of our country and the accompanying changes in the river and environment.

The 112-page hardcover book, designed for young readers, is illustrated with nine original paintings by one of Missouri’s leading artists, Bryan Haynes, with an introduction by Dr. Francis Levine, President of the Missouri History Museum.

These stories take place within the lifespan of one of the book’s recurring characters – a mythical Bur Oak tree that stands near the river and gets its start in 1806. The Bur Oak is one of the grandest of all Missouri oaks and one of the longest-lived trees in the state, living up to 350 years.

“Growing Up with the River” takes a brief look at each of the nine generations that have grown up in nine different communities since Lewis and Clark plied the river for their epic Voyage of Discovery.

Growing Up with the River

“Growing Up with the River”: Reader Comments and Reviews

Written by Georganne Nixon, First Lady, State of Missouri:

The Burkhardts know that Jay and I love the Missouri River.  The Governor’s mansion overlooks the Big Muddy, we canoe and kayak on the river, and we explore all along the Katy Trail and the river valley.  We ride our bikes to visit the giant bur oak near the Katy Trail in McBaine, so Dan and Connie sent us a copy of Growing Up with the River.   It is a treasure!  The stories make the history so alive and accessible.  I know that the book will inspire the children of Missouri and their families to get outside and experience more of our beautiful state!


Written by Nick Reding, St. Louis, Conservationist and author of the 2009 New York Times best-seller “Methland”:

Each night for the last couple of weeks, my seven-year-old son and I have read a chapter of “Growing Up on the River.” What makes that half-hour before bed each night such a treat for both of us is not just that this is an uncommonly beautiful book, or that the message is urgently important. Or that my son and I love our farm near Augusta, and, moreover, that we love learning as much as we can about the history of the area. Or that “Growing Up” somehow manages to engage a 44-year-old man as much as a second-grader. What makes that half an hour a day special is also that “Growing Up” happens to be a really, really good book. It simply tells a great story, and tells it well, managing somehow to compress two-hundred-plus years of history and ten generations into 120 pages. The conceit—telling each generation’s story through the eyes of a child—is as wonderful as it is useful. Without the next generation’s care, there simply won’t be a Missouri River Valley as we know and love it.


Written by Jeff Barrow, Director of Missouri River Relief in Columbia, MO:

My jaw dropped when I opened “Growing Up with the River” and saw the fantastic collection of paintings, photographs, maps and illustrations. I’m a visual person who has spent many days and nights working and playing on the Missouri River so I have a particular perspective and the book’s lay-out just exploded with joy, color and excitement. I was overjoyed to see such a true reflection of the river’s treasures—natural, cultural, historical and experiential.

In particular, the paintings by Bryan Haynes are outstanding—first as individual works of art and second as a stream of images that connect all the places and time periods contained in the wonderful story line.

Let me point to just two painting that caught me. The first is printed at the start of Chapter 2 and shows a big flock of Carolina parakeets flying over three canoes laden with furs in the early 1800s. The colorful image reminds us of our loss of the natural richness of the Missouri River through the extinction of species. But, in contrast, the painting at the start of Chapter 9 shows the recent abundance of American white pelicans that demonstrates how improved conservation can boost the health and productivity of the natural world.

The book also becomes an invitation to explore with a list printed of plants and animals to find within its pages—this list is printed prior to Chapter 1. The book finishes with a map of 30 places in the lower Missouri River valley to visit, including brief narratives and a look westward toward a huge oak and a fabulous steamboat museum.


Written by Cynthia Browne from the Deutschheim State Historic Site:

“Growing Up with the River” is a delightful book that all parents or grandparents should read with the children in their life. The story of successive generations growing up along the Missouri River is a fascinating tale, with a skillfully woven storyline that relates the impact of Missouri’s growth and development on its rich natural resources from 1806 to present day. Beautiful illustrations by Bryan Haynes add to the enjoyment of reading, enriching the story with colorful detail. Historical photographs and interesting side bars complement the stories of each generation, while a “Scout for these Plants and Animals” section and a rich glossary make further discussion and research fun for all ages.

It has been a pleasure to work with Dan and Connie Burkhardt as they developed the story line and incorporated the story of German immigration to the state in the 19th century. A book for children, sharing this rich history along the Missouri River, has been long overdue. The combination of history with the study of natural resources impacted by that history adds a further dimension to the telling, filling that need and more. Reading “Growing Up with the River” is a pleasure!


Written by Jon Landau, Producer, Avatar and Titanic:

I like to make movies that both entertain and inspire, and that’s the feeling I get from this book. We should share these stories with our children and open their eyes to the natural wonders of the world. Maybe it will inspire some of them to be a part of protecting these resources for future generations.


Written by Philip Slein, Artist:

My introduction to the incredible beauty of the Missouri River valley was as a student at the University of Missouri where I met landscape painter Frank Stack. I bought one of his paintings of the river and that began my years painting in this majestic valley. I credit this introduction with my life-long appreciation of our namesake river.


Written by Mike “Big Muddy” Clark, Big Muddy Adventures:

I’ve paddled thousands of miles on the Missouri River from its Montana origins to St. Louis. The river towns in this book are more historic, the bluffs are highers, and the white pelicans and farm fields are bigger from a canoe on the Big Muddy than they sounds in these pages. Get out on the river with us and experience it for yourself.

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  • Read another rave review for growingupwiththeriverGrowing Up with the River by Missourian Feature Writer Karen Cernich HERE! And another by Jody Mitori for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch HERE!

  • Read about First Lady Georganne Nixon’s comment on “Growing Up with the River” HERE!

  • And don’t forget to buy your copy of “Growing Up with the River: Nine Generations on the Missouri” today!
    100% of the proceeds go to
    The Katy Land Trust.